Positive Cynicism – It’s the little things

Aaron Davis

Aaron R. Davis

I’ve got nothing major to bitch about this week, but I’ve got a lot of little things.

1. Why does Microsoft Word automatically indent when I make a numbered list? Maybe I don’t want my list indented. Maybe it’s up to me to make that decision. I resent software that makes my decisions for me, as though I’m somehow incapable of knowing how I want to format my papers. It’s not like right-clicking and selecting “decrease indent” is a major hassle, but don’t just assume what I want or what I mean to do.

2. The same goes for Windows 7. I only upgraded from Windows XP earlier this year, and only because I was forced to when my computer died. I’m the kind of guy who makes picture-based lists on Tumblr and on my Blogger blog, and to do it I arrange pictures. But you can’t do that in Windows 7 because “no one” used it so the programmers decided to not bother making it an option. Except fricking everyone I know liked to be able to arrange picture files instead of having it default to alphabetical order, so I don’t know where they’re getting their intel from. So now I have to arrange picture files on my desktop. 0 for 2 in getting my decisions right for me, Microsoft.

3. This week, Madonna flashed a swastika onstage during a concert in Israel, and whipped out her breast onstage in Istanbul. It’s just never going to stop with Madonna, is it? I actually know people who think Madonna was ever “relevant.” That she was an “artist” who made “bold statements” that were somehow not desperate and increasingly unimaginative bids to fill the constant-attention-shaped hole in her soul. Seriously, at her age, this is what she has to offer the world? The most childish, lazy form of political commentary imaginable and a boob flash from a woman who mostly resembles a piece of dry bacon? Those aren’t bold statements. That’s a little kid pulling her dress up and screaming “Look!” because she thinks shocking people is clever.

4. Okay, I saw Prometheus this weekend and loved it. I see the dominant nerd culture on the Internet didn’t like it. So I’m already seeing that same attitude I always see about The Phantom Menace or the Spirit movie or other things I like that I’m “supposed” to hate when it comes to Prometheus. I really hate this shit. It’s like the majority of geeks get together and decide it’s wrong somehow to like Prometheus, and start using it as an example of badness in a way that feels like talking down to the people who liked it (so far: me and Roger Ebert), and it makes me feel like I’m supposed to be entrenched in my opinion or something. It’s probably the thing that most makes me fucking despise the Internet, this idea that everyone’s opinions, like, really matter and we all have to get upset over who liked a movie and who didn’t. I liked it, you didn’t, next week everyone will be bitching over some other crap, so who cares? Stop trying to make me feel bad about it.

5. On the other side, I saw the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, and I still can’t work up any enthusiasm over it. I’m not even going to see it. Probably ever. But I’m not going to make you feel like liking it is wrong. And despite what the outcry over a critic not totally 100 percent loving The Avengers would have us believe, my not liking a movie you do doesn’t affect your enjoyment of it in any way. Probably because I don’t try to make you feel like an idiot for liking something.

6. Okay, then, while we’re on the subject of this stupid wall of hate that nerds love to add bricks to, I love The Big Bang Theory. I think it’s hilarious. Do I think it has anything to do with the reality of being a geek or a pop culture junkie? No, because it’s fucking TV. It’s not a “geek minstrel show,” which is about the shittiest appropriation of racism to describe white people not getting their way that I’ve heard this week. Sorry that I don’t find Community funny, but if you’ll step out of the cocoon of like-mindedness you’ve constructed for yourself on the web, you’ll find that a lot of people don’t and that’s why it keeps hovering around cancellation (except for the one time it was actually canceled).

Hey, it sucks being a fan of a TV show that is low-rated and for whatever reason just doesn’t click with more viewers (does anyone remember when Farscape, Futurama and Invader ZIM all got canceled in the same couple of months?), but calling people dicks and traitors and morons for liking a different show doesn’t make us want to give your show another look. And maybe stop attacking my show for being less realistic than Community’s documentarian approach to community college. I’m sorry the show you like isn’t succeeding, but it’s not my fault and frankly I don’t care because I’m not the one judging your taste. Stop being pissy and enjoy what you have while you have it instead of lamenting its demise before it’s even gone.

Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at samuraifrog@yahoo.com

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